Search

 

Cablegate: Tanzania: President's Human Rights Roundtable At

VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDR #1287/01 2641451
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211451Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6797
INFO RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA PRIORITY 3250
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA PRIORITY 2587
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA PRIORITY 3072
RUEHLGB/AMEMBASSY KIGALI PRIORITY 1020
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI PRIORITY 0789
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0456
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY

UNCLAS DAR ES SALAAM 001287

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT AF/E FOR B OJIKUTU, AF/RSA FOR MHARPOLE
ALSO FOR G, DRL/SEA AND NSC/DEMOC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV TZ
SUBJECT: TANZANIA: PRESIDENT'S HUMAN RIGHTS ROUNDTABLE AT
2007 UNGA

REF: A. STATE 125456

B. DAR ES SALAAM 01267
C. STATE 108924
D. STATE 088465

Summary
--------
1. (U) Integrated into the Democracy and Good Governance goal
of post's Mission Strategic Plan is the advancement of human
rights, through efforts to establish a more accountable,
representative and effective government based on rule of law,
transparency and democratic pluralism. To advance this
strategy, Post has worked to facilitate the Government of
Tanzania's efforts to reduce corruption, promote
parliamentary independence, increase the capacity of civil
society and increase awareness of protection of human rights,
and the prevention of child labor and trafficking in persons.

Mission Programs Promoting Human Rights
----------------------------------
2. (U) In implementing USG-funded programs in country, the
Mission partners with NGOs, community-based organizations and
the Tanzanian government. These ongoing programs include:

-- a multi-year project administered through NGOs to
strengthen the Parliament's representative, lawmaking and
oversight functions;

-- a women's leadership workshop within the Parliament to
increase the capacity of female government leaders;

-- civic education programs for 1,000 citizens of Zanzibar
and to hundreds of Masai women in northern Tanzania.

-- increasing the effectiveness of the Prevention and
Combating of Corruption Bureau through leadership training
with the New York City Department of Investigation;

-- implementing public expenditure tracking systems in
eleven districts of Tanzania, enabling citizens to hold
government accountable for public services.

-- partnering with International Labor Organization (ILO)
projects to withdraw children from exploitative labor
situations.

-- partnering with Government of Tanzania (GOT) officials
and NGOs to raise awareness about trafficking in persons and
encourage the prosecution of traffickers.

-- Post's annual Democracy and Human Rights Fund program
distributes small grants to local NGOs or community
organizations. Examples include: musical programs and plays
in villages aimed to prevent the recruitment of minors into
child labor or trafficking situations, programs developing
conflict resolution strategies with women from diverse
political parties and radio programs to promote human rights.

Public Diplomacy
----------------
3. (U) Ongoing public diplomacy initiatives to advance human
rights include:

-- support to the Government of Tanzania's anti-corruption
efforts through workshops for government officials and
journalists on the importance of "whistle blower" protection.

-- enhancing the investigative skills of journalists through
training workshops, round table discussions and the
International Visitor Leadership Program.

-- maintaining a frank dialogue with the local media
associations on how press freedoms and responsibilities could
be enhanced.

-- publicizing the guiding principles on NGOs announced on
Human Rights Day 2006 through press releases and interviews.

GOT Human Democracy and Human Rights Priorities
--------------------------------------------- ---
4. (U) Tanzania's overall human rights record remains poor,

with abuses occurring in past years by prison guards and the
police, and with corruption in the judicial system not
allowing human rights cases to be fully prosecuted. Also,
freedom of the press has recently been limited through the
passage of an Anti Corruption law in February 2007 that
included a clause not allowing journalists to publish the
names of persons who are under investigation or who might be
investigated by the Prevention and Combating of Corruption
Bureau (PCCB).

5. (U) The GOT encourages civic education among all
voters--men, women and disabled persons. While the general
elections on the Mainland in December 2005 were deemed fair
by international observers, the October 2005 elections on the
isles of Zanzibar to elect a president and members of the
House of Representatives were marred by serious
irregularities and violence.

6. (U) In 2003, the Government of Tanzania established a
Human Rights Commission by statute and appointed a
commissioner in 2004. Post supported the fledgling
commission with a grant to purchase law books for the
Commission's Human Rights library. The quasi-independent
Commission is empowered to investigate alleged human rights
abuses on the Mainland. In 2006, the law was amended by
Parliament to extend the authority of the Human Rights
Commission to the semi-autonomous isles of Zanzibar, thus
opening a new chapter in the monitoring of human rights
throughout the country.

7. (SBU) We are increasingly concerned by lack of will to
fight corruption and recent steps to undercut voices in the
press and the Parliament speaking out on corruption. The
Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau, purportedly
the government's most important instrument in the fight
against corruption, sent a letter recently to the media
threatening to apply a provision in the new Anti-Corruption
Act that punishes (with fines and imprisonment) anyone who
knows someone is being investigated. In a country with
pervasive corruption, almost any level of any ministry can
reasonably be suspected of being under investigation for
corruption. The result has been a distinct chilling effect
on investigative reporting and corruption stories in the
press.

8. (SBU) At the same time, opposition members in Parliament
have suffered draconian and arguably unconstitutional
punishment for speaking out against corruption, with one MP
banished for over four months from Parliament for calling for
corruption investigations (Ref B). Government efforts to
clamp down on the two principal means in this society for
putting the spotlight on corruption--the press and
Parliament--must become an increasingly prominent piece in
our dialogue.
GREEN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN SDG: UN Appoints Twenty Eminent Thinkers To Shed New Light On The World’s Greatest Challenges

New York, 21 January 2021 – Twenty prominent personalities, globally renowned for their intellectual leadership in economic and social fields, will form the second United Nations High-level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs, the ... More>>

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

UN: Violent Attempt At US Capitol To ‘overturn’ Election, Shocking And Incendiary

A group of independent UN rights experts released ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>